Podcast for Pool

April 28, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Posted in australian poetry, performance, podcast, poetry, writing | 10 Comments
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I have been enjoying myself at Pool which is a project coordinated by the ABC, Australia’s national broadcaster. They have requested pieces about birds and rivers, so I thought I would podcast a couple of poems, sunonheads exit and The Scrub Turkey. You can hear them at Pool under the link above or here at my podcast site.

It was good practice for my featured performance at Speed Poets this Sunday where I will be doing twelve minutes from memory. Wish me luck!

Anzac Day 2010

April 25, 2010 at 6:01 am | Posted in writing | 10 Comments
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Corporeal Squires! Take this latest report to the troops and broadcast the response!
Yes sir! May I read it first?
Of course not, it is highly classified. But General Costello will be here soon and he wants it done.
Yes Sir!  Can’t he do it himself? I’m a bit busy getting shot at.
Squires to the troops:
Good news people. The working class male has been examined and he is not necessarily evil. (General hurrahs)


The working class male, cannon fodder, always has been, he says, at the docks she was wearing, as the zzip takes off the top of his head. Milne Bay, 25 August 1942.


Two old blokes in the smoking section discussing salary caps and the football. Two beautiful young European tourists walk by. Just for a moment, the conversation stops, eyes flicker. It is an instinct and it is enticed. Their wives return. He  kisses her on the cheek and the other, older, a veteran, his hand moves slightly, brushes hers.

mostly blue and some yellow

April 21, 2010 at 6:47 am | Posted in poetry, writing | 18 Comments
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(For a larger, much easier to read version, click on the image above.)

Blogging Through The Ages

April 17, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Posted in blogging, links, writing | 13 Comments
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I often think about whether certain writers of the past would make good bloggers. Some undoubtedly would, Richard Brautigan for instance, whose short and magical prose would be perfect. Oscar Wilde, can you imagine the joy of his blog?

In fact, whilst the word ‘blog’ is a very modern addition to the lexicon, the activity is as old as the written word itself. Today I discovered three fascinating blogs, each written in a different century.

One is written by a fellow called Vincent Van Gogh, among whose posts is one entitled “One Can Speak Poetry Just By Arranging Colours Well” and another called “Infinitely Beautiful”. Mr Van Gogh is a 19th century painter whose career is not going particularly well, so he is in perfectly compatible company here.

The other is by a strange and furtive English gentleman (although I use the term loosely) by the name of George Orwell. Mr Orwell claims to be a well-respected published author from the 20th century but his blog is largely about the weather and his vegetable garden.

The third is by a English gentleman by the name of Samuel Pepys. It is a fascinating journey through 17th century society by someone who surely ranks as one of the world’s most loquacious gossips.

‘Blog’ is such an ugly word. Perhaps we should just call it writing.

Samba Libretto (excerpt #1)

April 15, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Posted in samba libretto, verse play, writing | 10 Comments
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Setting – One uncomfortable wooden chair, paint peeling.

Enter, stumbling as though pushed onto the stage – One uncomfortable wooden poet, skin peeling. Mid-forties, wearing last night’s tuxedo and a bemused grin, trailed by his bodyguards and his therapist. He looks back for a moment. Looks down at his hand, surprised to see flowers as he was expecting scissors dripping blood.

Poet(Grumpily as though at the end of the argument with the person who pushed him onto the stage) Whoops, sorry. Now where was I? That’s right, that creation and destruction are coins of two different sides and so forth. My new verse play is going well. I have already hidden the story in the first few lines. It is a classic symmetrical butterfly on the side of a Japanese vase. So instead of listening to me rambling on, here is a scene from it. (He sits on the chair.)

(Louise enters with an easel containing a still life of flowers. She starts to paint. Leonard rushes in naked and dripping wet and grabs her in a huge hug.)

Leonard – Louise! I have to tell you. Joseph Heller was a Jew!

Louise – Yes, Leonard. (Disentangling herself from the hug.) Please put some clothes on. If you keep doing that, I shall have to put one of those newfangled locks on the bathroom door that only lets you out here when you are fully clothed.

Leonard – Hmmm, no you won’t.

Louise – Yes I will, your polymorpheus perversity is becoming excessively tiresome and look what you have done to my painting.

Leonard – Oh, it is as beautiful as your poetry, which one is you?

The Poet(Jumping up) Perfect, perfect. (Rushes toward the actors before being restrained by his bodyguards.)

(end scene)

seeing you

April 13, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Posted in poetry, writing | 15 Comments
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i am contained inside my smile
cheshire cat style
it is all of me
like a s(i)mile

i become a metaphor
though i’m not sure
quite what for

just a stand-in
for some other thing
whose wild heart’s
still singing

The Art Of Waiting.

April 10, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Posted in contemporary poetry, poetry, writing | 16 Comments

The man on the bus is doing a cryptic crossword.
Every now and then he gets stuck and
stares blankly out the window as though
the answer might be there.

The woman next to him is listening to music
on her i-pod. Her eyes are closed and she is
motionless. I am trying to remember a poem
without metaphor and a reason for it.

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